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“Underwhelmed & Unimpressed”
Review of Braise

Ranked #82 of 1,508 Restaurants in Milwaukee
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Groups, Special Occasion Dining, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Accepts American Express, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Chicago, IL
Level Contributor
145 reviews
69 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 145 helpful votes
“Underwhelmed & Unimpressed”
Reviewed 19 May 2012

My approach to reviews is to judge restaurants on other, similar type/caliber restaurants. Braise touts itself as high end, fine dining and farm to table. Given these qualifications and despite the fact that everyone else seems to be totally in love with this place, I think an average rating is exceedingly benevolent.

We called for a same day reservation based on the recommendation of a local and were indeed able to get a table for a late seating. The restaurant was jam packed and so insanely loud that it was downright headache inducing. The tables were either inordinately close together or of the 'communal dining' type--which made the insane noise level a blessing as in either case you were sitting right on top of strangers.

There were staff crawling all over the place and a couple of single-task staff (two hostesses', a guy only grilling pre-made bread, a barista.) Our server was nice enough, but it took forever to get anything--and that appeared to be the case throughout the restaurant, despite large numbers of staff just standing around. I have been to restaurants with just as many patrons, half the staff, and incredible service. It was downright strange.

And then the food was completely uninspired, lacking taste and creative only in name. We shared two appetizers--steamed pork buns and roasted asparagus on toasted brioche with pancetta. The pork buns tasted like they cracked open a can of refrigerator rolls, steamed them and added some left over pork and a completely nondescript sauce on top. The asparagus was over cooked yet fat and woody. The brioche was soggy and just nasty. The pancetta was somehow completely forgettable, with no taste whatsoever. 

Same story with one of the two entrees. The bison loin with ramp and lentil salad was a total disappointment. The bison had no seasoning (or taste!) whatsoever, and was served over a freezing cold, sloppy lentil salad that tasted like nothing but citrus. The other entree--the roasted chicken with ramp risotto was,thankfully, divine.

On the plus side, they had several very affordable, delicious wines and the decaf coffee was out of this world!

I understand that perhaps the hype about this restaurant is more about the location--an area with a serious lack of dining options--but were I local to the area I'd get in my car and drive to a restaurant with food as inspired in taste as the menu sounds and a staff who were interested in meeting my needs rather than socializing.

Despite the few bright spots in our experience overall it was pretty much a wasted trip. I would not return, and would never recommend it.

  • Visited May 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank BusinessTraveler04
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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133 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Norwegian first
  • Any
English first
Lake Villa, Illinois
Level Contributor
81 reviews
63 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Great new restaurant”
Reviewed 25 April 2012

My wife and I had dinner at braise last Friday and found it to be even better than expected.
The rabbit appetizer was delicious as was a ravioli with an egg inside, and also smoked trout. We both had the duck entree and it was also exceptional. The wine list is relatively small, but several good and reasonable wines.
We will definitely return.

  • Visited April 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Toby W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Neenah, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
125 reviews
79 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
“Delightful and Delicious”
Reviewed 29 March 2012

Impressive production, presentation, and knowledge of their concise but exquisite menu. This is a place to go for great banter, both in a culinary and social sense. The staff are obviously committed to the mission of Braise, ensuring that you are virtually guaranteed to leave there feeling grateful and enriched after your dining experience.

Visited March 2012
Thank PlatterTalk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fox Point, WI
Level Contributor
57 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Friendly and delish!”
Reviewed 16 March 2012

Went with a groups of 6 and tried many different dishes. All were tasty and offered nice twists for the taste buds. Love the old bowling alley wood floors and whimsical touches to the historical building. Local + fresh + creative = must go!

Visited January 2012
Thank SSViaje
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
55 reviews
36 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“I can't wait to go again.”
Reviewed 26 February 2012

I saw an article in Milwaukee Magazine and knew I needed to try this place.
The menu is small and so exciting. It is truly hard to choose. We started with the Crispy Pig and Creamy Polenta, Goat Cheese and Sorghum Syrup. Yum! Then I chose the Caramelized Onion and Potato Tart with Green Garlic Jam and Sunflower Sprouts and the Kohlrabi Curry with Lime Yogurt. My husband had a beef dish with risotto, an asian slaw and a curry sauce. I don't usually order dessert, but I couldn't resist trying something and went with the Rosemary Cake with Rhubarb Rose Conserve.
the food was fantastic, the service fantastic and the prices were very reasonable. With a menu that changes daily based on fresh meat and vegetables seasonally available, there will always be something new and exciting to try.

  • Visited February 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank JFab_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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